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‘Baz’ announces retirement

CHRIST CHURCH – Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum has announced his retirement from international cricket.

Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum

Kiwi captain Brendon McCullum

The 34-year-old, who will play a world-record 100th successive Test for New Zealand against Australia at the Basin Reserve on February 12, confirmed at a press conference in Christchurch today that he will pull stumps on his Black Caps career following the second Test against Australia at Hagley Oval from February 20.

McCullum had wanted to wait until after his final game to make the announcement, but the impending naming of the New Zealand squad for the ICC World T20 in India, in which he will not be included, has forced his hand.

“Ideally, I would have preferred to wait until after the ANZ Test in Christchurch to make this news public,” McCullum said.

“However, the schedule for naming the ICC World T20 squads means I could not have managed this without causing a lot of confusion and speculation – something I was keen to avoid.

“I’ve loved my opportunity to play for, and captain the Black Caps, but all good things have to come to an end, and I’m just grateful for the wonderful experience of playing for my country.”

Kane Williamson will captain the team at the T20 World Cup.

An inspirational skipper, McCullum will be remembered as one of New Zealand’s best.

McCullum, who made his Test debut against South Africa in Hamilton in 2004, initially forged a career as an explosive lower-order wicketkeeper batsman.

From his 99 tests to date, McCullum has amassed 6273 from 172 innings to be No.2 on the New Zealand Test run scorers of all time, behind former captain Stephen Fleming (7172 runs).

He has scored nine Test centuries to rank alongside Nathan Astle as the fifth equal on the number of centuries scored by a New Zealander.

McCullum’s career-defining knock came in the summer of 2013-14 when he was the first New Zealander to score a triple century. The skipper scored 302 against India at the Basin Reserve in Wellington to make international headlines.

McCullum came into the role of captain under controversial circumstances, with Ross Taylor being dropped on the tour of South Africa by coach Mike Hesson.

He has proven a successful skipper and led the Black Caps to their first ever Cricket World Cup final this year where they lost to Australia by seven wickets.

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